A group of seven House Republicans – including Freedom Caucus members such as Ken Buck, Colorado and Chip Roy, Texas, and MP-elect Nancy Mace (SC) and Libertarian MP Thomas Massie (R-Ky). made a rare and lengthy statement on Sunday afternoon in which he opposed efforts to challenge the elections.
They argue that the Constitution makes it clear that states – not Congress – are responsible for choosing voters.
“We have to respect the authority of the states here,” wrote the legislature in its declaration that POLITICO had received. “While this may thwart our immediate political goals, we have taken an oath to promote the Constitution beyond our political goals. We have to count the votes cast by the states. “
A handful of Senate Republicans have also stood firm against the Trump-driven challenges. In addition to Sens. Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney and Pat Toomey, who vigorously rebuked these growing challenges, Sens. Susan Collins and Roger Wicker stated on Sunday that they would also face challenges. The Washington Post announced on Sunday that Trump had called Georgia’s Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger the day before and pressured him to “find” enough votes to undo Biden’s victory in the state.
Some Trump allies have tried to drop the procedures altogether. They were hoping to enable Vice President Mike Pence, who will chair the meeting, to unilaterally reject Biden’s voters. It is unclear whether these members will attempt to object to these rules or change them when they come to the House and Senate on Sunday evening. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) sued Pence last week to get the cases down, but was unceremoniously dismissed by two federal courts.
If the procedures are passed, Pence must introduce all papers that are “supposedly” electoral votes. It is designed to read them alphabetically by state and allow lawmakers to raise objections along the way. These long-standing procedures allow only two lawmakers – a single House member and a Senator acting together – to stall the process, forcing the House and Senate to abandon the joint session and discuss the challenges for two hours each before they are voted on and return to the joint meeting.
There is virtually no doubt that the challenges to Biden’s victory will fail. The Democratically run house will oppose them, and enough Republicans in the narrowly divided Senate have announced that they will also reject any challenge. But the scale of the push – with dozens of House Republicans and at least a quarter of the Senate GOP – will be unprecedented, aided by the wholehearted support of the sitting president who encouraged supporters to rally in Washington on Jan. 1 6 to protest the meeting.
Some Trump allies encourage Pence to try to take control of the session regardless of the rules and simply refuse to promote Biden’s voters in states that Trump has challenged. But Pence refused to adopt this strategy in court, and Congress would also refuse to make such an effort.
The processes in the proposed rules are enshrined in a federal law passed in 1887 called the Electoral Count Act. This law was passed to address the disastrous elections of 1876. Since then, each congress has adopted the procedures governing the electoral college’s January 6th certification session. However, constitutional scholars have debated whether the House and Senate can be bound by the 130-year-old law and whether they can complement it to clearly define some of its vague aspects, such as Pence’s authorities as chairman and the law’s requirements All “alleged” votes are introduced.
One of the questions about Pence’s role is whether he intends to introduce Republicans who have claimed to be casting votes for Trump in key states that Biden has won. Trump’s potential voters met on December 14, the day the formal electoral college members met in their respective state capitals and held mock meetings to cast votes for Trump. In that case, by law, Congress would only have to count those certified by state governments. However, this would further reinforce Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the process.